Lloyd Kahn’s Half-Acre Homestead


The following is an excerpt from Lloyd Kahn’s The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening, a record, with over 500 color photos, of Lloyd’s and his wife Lesley’s owner-built home and garden. They show you what the house and garden look like, how various functions operate, including solar panels, septic systems, skylights, and tools they use in the kitchen, garden, and shop. Buy the book from Shelter Publications and several of Lloyd’s other books in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Store.

When Lesley and I first got together, it was homesteading at first sight. We both wanted to create a home and grow our own food. I’d been working as a carpenter for about 10 years and had built a homestead in Big Sur in the 1960s. Lesley had been gardening, sewing, and practicing crafts most of her life.

We both wanted to do as much for ourselves as possible. We both wanted to avoid paying rent or getting a bank loan. And we both wanted to have a home built of natural materials, and that was functional, practical, and good-feeling.

21st-Century Homestead

When I say “homestead”, I don’t refer to the original meaning of the word as it applied to farmers claiming land in America in the mid-1800s. Ours is a homestead in the sense of building our own home and growing much of our own food on a (small) piece of land.

Starting. We began in 1974. We had a 100-by-200-foot lot on the Northern California coast — about half an acre. (To give you an idea of the area, a football field is roughly an acre in size.) The book serves as the story of our adventures in providing our own shelter, food, and practicing crafts on this land. There are also lists of useful tools. And it’s a look at what we see in our everyday life, inside and outside the house.

9/22/2020 6:57:45 PM

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and encouragement. I am looking to do this for myself and find great inspiration here. Amy

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters